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O-Zone: Holiday spirit

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …

Bill from Ponte Vedra, FL

Seems to me the balance between risk of injury and gain of experience in preseason games is different for rookies. For example, shouldn't Walker and Lloyd play more than a few series in the early preseason games?

You're seemingly referencing a recent O-Zone question in which I speculated that Jaguars starters may for the most part play sparingly in the preseason-opening Hall of Fame Game August 4. That's because that's how teams typically approach preseason games these days, and it's how Jaguars Head Coach Doug Pederson often has approached preseason games as an NFL head coach. But you're right in the sense that coaches typically approach preseason playing time on somewhat of a case-by-case basis. If Pederson and the offensive coaches believe the starting offense – or particular starting offensive players – need an extra series against the Las Vegas Raiders that night, they will get it. The same is true of the defense. And yes … the rookies could get a little more time in that game than veterans. But not much more. Health is paramount in the preseason, even over gaining experience.

Bryan from Birgu, Malta Yo Grizz!

Does Trevon Walker compare favorably to other physical freaks at the position like a Julius Peppers or JJ Watt? Is he freaky big? Hard to tell from here.

I only have been around Watt and Peppers from a distance, so I can't speak to how impressive they were physically at similar times in their careers. I can tell you Walker at 6-feet-5, 275 pounds compares favorably to any NFL player I've seen up close. His size, length and frame stand out in a way that players such as Tony Boselli, Bob Sanders and Calais Campbell stood out. When you saw those players, there immediately was something freakish in size, physique, etc., that you knew they had something special. In the case of Boselli and Campbell, it was size that made you think they were put on this earth to play their positions. Sanders' physique made you think he was in pads at non-padded practices. Walker stands out physically in a similar way. That doesn't guarantee NFL success. But it absolutely gives him a hell of a chance.

Brad from Orange Park, FL

Guess "the streak" came to an end as of July 3, 2022? I had to double check, to make sure I was looking at it correctly.

The streak did not end. The O-Zone for July 3 was incorrectly timestamped as being posted on July 2 at 11:43 p.m. That is the July 3 O-Zone. When the streak ends – and it indeed will end, perhaps soon or perhaps not – it will not end subtly. It will end clumsily and with the meaningless fanfare it deserves.

Steve from Nashville, TN

So, covering a storyline about an upcoming Jaguar opponent is off limits for, but ranking R.E.M. songs, obscure Elvis Costello albums and shopping mall pizza franchises is in your sweet spot?

Wow. Busted. I for some reason have been asked in recent weeks whether we will "cover" certain off-field storylines regarding upcoming opponents on I have answered these questions honestly and accurately by saying that if the topic pertains to the Jaguars and/or the opponent that week, we certainly will discuss it. At no time have I ever said anything was "off-limits." I would guess we will discuss topics such as Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson or the off-field goings-on around the Washington Commanders the weeks the Jaguars play those teams. I doubt we will go in-depth on those issues because we don't cover those teams in detail as we do the Jaguars. Therefore, there is a limit on how much we have to offer in a discussion about those situations. This has been the approach here on in the past and it is the approach reasonable people covering teams typically take. It has nothing to do with ignoring issues or being told by anyone not to discuss certain things. It has everything to do with being a Jaguars website and Jaguars media channels – and therefore typically focusing more on Jaguars-related topics. Now, Steve has cleverly detected that I sometimes answer questions about non-football-related topics here in the O-Zone. This is true. I have been caught red-handed. Why do I do such nefarious things? I suppose the explanation is this: I write this column every day, 365 days a year and have done so for going on 11 years – and I do it in a way that seems to work for most readers. I sometimes answer non-football questions but there are football questions every day. My objective is to inform and entertain as best as possible every day. Some people seem to like it. Some don't. We'll touch on topics about other teams here. We'll discuss them on forums were appropriate. We'll discuss Watson and the Commanders story when appropriate, but we're not going to dig as deep on those issues as sites that cover those teams regularly. Is this really difficult?

Gary from Centerville, OH

1. Man on the Moon, 2. Driver 8, 3. Fall on Me, 4. Gardening at Night, 5. Drive. Rockville would be on the list, but I have a very close friend from Rockville, Md., who recently passed away and I have a difficult time hearing that song without thinking of him. Also: Radio Free Europe and So. Central Rain for being the first songs I heard and loved.

I've hit a specific chord with this R.E.M. thread. While I loved the group in college to the point of ridiculousness, I never really thought of them a singles band. I therefore don't have a great R.E.M. Top 5. Still, for the sake of discussion: 1. Sitting Still, 2. Letter Never Sent, 3. Pretty Persuasion, 4. Auctioneer, 5. Flower of Guatemala. That's today's list. It could change tomorrow. We'll get Steve's tomorrow. Maybe. Maybe not. Whatever.

Cliff from Everywhere with helicopter

Don't forget R.E.M.'s cover of The Troggs "Love Is All Around" with Mike Mills on vox. Why dude hasn't done a solo record is a mystery. One of the most under-appreciated musicians of his era.

Don't forget "There She Goes Again."

Michael from Orange Park, FL

Best NFL teams you ever saw. Go.

When I think of these questions, I think in terms of dominance in their era – and it's too hard to single out one team. I'll go with the 1978 Pittsburgh Steelers, 1985 Chicago Bears, 1991 Washington and the 1984 San Francisco 49ers as the best single-season teams I've ever seen. The best team over a sustained period of my lifetime was the 1970s Steelers. Yes, all these teams played more than three decades ago. Ask an old man a question, get an old-man answer.

Don from Marshall NC

When I get depressed, I think about sitting in the stadium drinking warm 16-ounce buds in the rain watching Bob Newton of the Tea Men knock the teeth out of Elias Figueroa of the Lauderdale Strikers. The crowd of about 9,000 was rocking the house that night. Good times! Go Jaguars!

Jaguars 2022 Training Camp begins July 24.

Scott from Atlantic Beach, FL

Jacksonville is essentially four or five adjacent small towns. Building a "resort" downtown is a really dumb idea, unless eight or nine home games a year can support it. Downtown is a lost cause without affordable housing to increase the population density. Artists and youth are the only viable way to build downtown. A resort is stupid. There's nothing there. Nobody wants to swim there. The beach is Jacksonville's attraction. It's too far from downtown for there to be any significant sharing of visitors. Then locals aren't commuting downtown from the beach from the suburbs from "town center." If you want to build up downtown, you start with true-artist lofts and affordable single-person living spaces. You bring in youth and singles. They then develop coffee shops, then restaurants, then come the bars and nightlife. A "Four Seasons Resort" will be a useless eyesore after the initial novelty wears off. Everyone talks up Khan's business smarts, I don't buy it. I see a chemical engineer who identified a market. A "Four Seasons Resort" downtown is premature at this time and obviously a reach with the urban sprawl that is Jacksonville. Maybe if there was effective transit, a fast train system from the suburbs to downtown is the only hope.

Perhaps you're right. Jaguars Owner Shad Khan doesn't agree. As someone who is for a thriving downtown, I guess I like the fact that Khan believes in it. And I guess I don't see the negative in one of the world's wealthiest, most-influential and successful businessman believing in downtown enough to invest time and money into it. But that's just me.

Gary from St. Augustine, FL

Roses are red; fireworks are red, white and blue. It's fourth of July Weekend, And I hate you.

Wherever you go there you are.